NEW YORK An Englewood, Colo.-based electronics recycling company has been fined $4.5 million and its chief executive officer was sentenced to 30 months in prison for illegal exports of electronic scrap and fraud.
U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez issued his verdict against Executive Recycling Inc. and owner and chief executive officer Brandon Richter on July 23 for their roles in a fraudulent scheme related to the disposal and exportation of electronic waste to foreign countries.
The sentencing came one week after the companys former vice president, Tor Olson, was sentenced to 14 months in prison (amm.com, July 19).
Richter was ordered to serve 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Richter was also ordered to pay a $7,500 fine and $70,144 in restitution. The court also ordered $142,241.10 in asset forfeiture.
Executive Recycling, Richter, and Olson were convicted in December 2012 of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud and environmental crimes related to the illegal disposal of electronic waste, smuggling, and obstruction of justice, following an 11-day trial.
According to the media statement released by attorneys and agents pursuing this case, a significant portion of electronic waste collected by Executive Recycling were cathode ray tubes (CRTs). From 2005 to 2008, the company exported about 160 cargo containers carrying a total of more than 100,000 CRTs.
The agencies said that between February 2005 and January 2009, the company "knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme to defraud various business and government entities who wanted to dispose of their electronic waste, and to obtain these business and government entities money by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses."
The company falsely advertised to customers that they would dispose of electronic waste in compliance with all local, state and federal laws and regulations. Specifically, the defendants falsely represented that the defendant company recycled electronic waste "properly, right here in the U.S." They also stated that they would not send the electronic waste overseas but were later found to have exported the material to China.
"The defendants in this case not only caused actual harm to the environment by shipping electronic waste overseas for dumping, they defrauded their customers by falsely claiming to be disposing of that waste in an environmentally safe way," Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh said.